An autopsy was conducted Tuesday on an Illinois man found dead at a backcountry campsite in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A bear was euthanized for scavenging on his remains.
Park officials said Patrick Madura, 43, of Elgin, Illinois, had a backcountry reservation for a multi-night trip. He was scheduled to stay at campsite 82, where his remains were found, on Wednesday, Sept. 8. Hikers discovered his body on Friday.
Madura's reservation was for only one person, and rangers found only one tent and sleeping bag at the campsite.
His body was taken to the North Carolina office of the Chief Medical Examiner, located in Raleigh. Park officials said it could take several weeks to months to get the results.
When the rangers came to investigate Madura's death, they euthanized the black bear that was scavenging his remains, because they don't want the animals to associate people with food.
Officials have not released the cause of Madura's death.
Though black bears are very common in the Smokies, an attack on humans is very rare.
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